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EDITORIALOPINION
Why We Should Let the Old Work
Jeon Sohyeon  |  jeon1995@korea.ac.kr
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승인 2016.10.27  18:03:52
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
Unemployment issues have been some of the most popular topics discussed until today. However, unemployment is one generally referred to that of the younger, not the older generation. Considered as an outdated and ineffective source of labor, corporations are eager to lay off the elderly and hire the younger ones, arguing that the younger workers are in more dire need of payment than those who have been working for a longer period of time. Such argument, however, is slowly becoming invalid lately.
 
This article will be one of the so many articles about unemployment. Yet, the social emphasis is generally placed on youth unemployment than anything else. Most political amendments and legislation are therefore focused on finding jobs for the younger than the older. The endeavor has been paying off, with the unemployment rate reducing by 0.4 percent compared to that of last year. However, the emphasis on youth employment has recently become invalid as the elderly has been struggling to find their jobs as well. That brings to our ultimate question, “Is it necessary to look for a quick fix for elderly unemployment issues?”
 
Generally, employers justify their preference of younger people to older ones by saying that they have more energy to bring in to the work-place, thereby increasing work efficiency. But it is not always the energy that brings in efficiency. In fact, the so called youth passion exerted by the young might not even be necessary if someone knew how to work effectively without wasting energy. It is normally the elderly who are more experienced and therefore more capable of productivity.
 
What about the general public? According to a public survey, 70 percent of the respondents thought that employment policies should be directed towards the youth, not the elderly, saying that older generation take job opportunities away from the younger ones. They are, in fact, unaware that the youth pretty much has a back-up plan, and can crawl back to their parents when they are desperate for support. The middle-aged and the old, on the other hand, lack any back-up and instead are expected to be the supporters of their families.
 
So there is no legitimate reason to castigate any attempts to let the elderly to look for another opportunity. Yet, there is a social atmosphere focused towards the younger than the older, the jobless older generation is continuously becoming a victim of social demands. There is nothing wrong with the fact that youth unemployment is being taken seriously by everyone and that actions are showing some great effects. But it is a clumsy move to consider these old people unqualified for a job compared to the young.
 
It is common that older people have some form of expertise in whatever they worked, and these experiences might be more invaluable for employers than the seemingly bottomless energy diffused by the youth. If employers are truly looking for efficiency, it would be foolish to overvalue passion over experience, and they should look for ways that can allow the elderly show their proficiencies that can match the energy in which the younger can bring into the working environment.
 
Moreover, those who have never been in a working environment has difficulty creating an ideal atmosphere in the workplace. Those elderly, however, generally have more knowledge how the atmosphere of the workplace ought to be. Firms that employ elder people revealed that such ability was one of the main reason why they try to hire as many elder people, given that they have work-experience, as possible. So older people are able to bring in more efficiency into the workplace than the youth by creating an atmosphere better to work in.
 
There are many ways to salvage the older people from their slump of unemployment, although it is up to the employers to decide whether these elderly have more ability as a social contributor than the younger people. We can let the employers make their own decisions, but it would be absurd to continuously move towards for policies that aim to help the youth at the cost of the experienced.
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